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Friday, December 02, 2005

Companion Card For Tasmania

Companion Card For Tasmania - Paul Lennon, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Tasmanians who require a permanent carer will soon be eligible for a Companion Card allowing their carer to access many community events and entertainment options for free.

Premier Paul Lennon today announced the State Government had signed a licensing agreement with the Victorian Government to introduce a Companion Card program, based on the Victorian model.

National affiliates of the Companion Card program in Victoria have also committed to the Tasmanian Companion Card ? including organisations like Village Cinemas and the Australian Football League (AFL).

?The Companion Card is designed to enable a person with a disability ? who is unable to go out without a carer ? to access venues without paying for their carer as well as themselves,? said Mr Lennon.

?It will help Tasmanians with lifelong disabilities to participate more equally in the community by providing access to fair ticketing practices.

?The program makes it easy for people to demonstrate their need for a companion and for affiliated organisations to know who should have their companions admitted free of charge.?

About 37,000 Tasmanians have a profound or severe core activity restriction and may be eligible for the card.

Mr Lennon made the announcement while launching the State Government?s new Disability Framework for Action ? another step toward its comprehensive social justice approach to disability.

?The Framework for Action is about creating a Tasmania where the barriers that prevent people with disabilities enjoying the same rights and opportunities as other Tasmanians are dismantled,? the Premier said.

?It includes a range of initiatives across the whole State Government and provides a comprehensive blueprint to ensure the needs of people with disability are routinely taken into account in all Government policies and services.?

Mr Lennon said the State Government would also set up an office of disability ? to be known as the Disability Bureau ? to provide a focal point for the Government?s efforts to improve outcomes for people with disabilities.

Individuals and organisations that are interested in joining the Companion Card program are encouraged to register their interest with the Department of Premier & Cabinet by phoning 1800 009 501 or by emailing disability@dpac.tas.gov.au.

Copies of the Framework for Action are available at www.dpac.tas.gov.au

This initiative is part of the State Government?s commitment to progressing Tasmania Together Goal 9: Foster an inclusive society that acknowledges and respects our multicultural heritage, values diversity and treats everyone with compassion and respect.

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